July 27, 2006

Fazenda Mae de Ouro Cachaca Review

Fazenda Mae de Ouro Cachaca
Sugar Cane Liquor Imported from Brazil
80 Proof (40% ABV)
Typical Price: Around $25 for 1L

CaipirinhaEverybody's talking about mojitos these days, but for our money the caipirinha is the way to go. Maybe it's our anti-trendy inclinations, or maybe it's a backlash against those annoying-ass Bacardi ads. We're not sure what it is but when we want a sugar-based liquor mixed with limes, we reach for the cachaca instead of the rum.

Fazenda Mae de Ouro is the latest on our list of usual suspects. It's made in pot stills using a 400 year old process, it's filtered three times and laid down in white oak barrels for a couple years before it's bottled. Sounds more like the process for making a fine whiskey than whipping up the white lightning we'd been lead to believe was cachaca. But does all that extra time in the creation process make Mae de Ouro worth yours? Read on to find out.

The Color: Clear
Crystal clear, it reminded us of a vodka or a light rum.

The Nose:Smells Like...Tequila?
This part really threw us. Cachaca is pretty much the Brazilian form of rum, so when we took a whiff and smelled tequila we were confused. It doesn't smell exactly like tequila - it's sweeter and more complex than many - but that's the vibe we get.

The Taste:Tastes Like Burning
At first sip, the tequila comparison held up, but as it faded to a finish we got more of the rummy taste we expected. The flavor was definitely unique and extremely tasty, unlike any other liquor we've tried, cachaca or no. It's sugary without being too sweet, and there's a pepperiness on the back end that we found very pleasant. Most cachacas are pretty much only fit to make into caipirinhas because of their aggressive flavor, but we could see ourselves drinking Mae de Ouro on the rocks with nothing more than a twist of lime.

Of course, caipirinhas are the drink that define the liquor, so we had to mix up a couple batches. We made some with Mae de Ouro and some with a competing brand, and our reviewers chose the Mae de Ouro across the board due to the great aroma, lack of overpowering sweetness and overall clean taste.

The Verdict: Buy It If You Can Find It
We truly enjoyed Mae de Ouro and we recommend you pick up a bottle if you can get your hands on it. When you do, get your hands on a few fresh limes and some superfine sugar (or simple syrup) and take advantage of Mae de Ouro's caipirinha recipe...they go down especially smoothly on a hot day and you don't have to worry about getting mint leaves stuck in your teeth like with mojitos.

Update: Fazenda Mae de Ouro is available in six states as of this printing (California, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania) - go to the Now Serving page and use the dropdown menu to find liquor stores in your state or buy it online (subject to availability) if it's not available nearby.

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at July 27, 2006 8:00 AM
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